Press Releases

Occupy Dunedin served with eviction notice

Tuesday, 1 November 2011, 5:37 pm
The Dunedin City Council served the Occupy Dunedin group with an eviction notice this afternoon, requesting that they vacate the Octagon by 8pm tonight.In response, a public message has been posted on the Occupy Dunedin Facebook page, inviting members of the public to join them in the Octagon:“We invite you all to join us in forming the ring around the Octagon to tell the council that the Octagon belongs to the people of Dunedin and remind them that they are in breach of the BILL OF RIGHTS ACT, which a bylaw should not exceed”.

Occupy Wellington have posted a message calling for any local supporters to film the eviction, for the rest of the world to see.

“We trust the Police will act responsibly in serving out their orders, and not use violence to remove this peaceful assembly” says Rich, a supporter of the Occupy Wellington movement.

Occupy movement supporters nationwide are flooding the Dunedin City Council with messages of support for the Occupiers and disagreement with the eviction.

A similar response from the global Occupy movement is anticipated later this evening.

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Occupy Wellington to Host Free Community-Based Tertiary Education Initiative in Civic Square Despite Eviction Rumours

Friday, October 28 2011,  6.10pm
Despite rumours of Police eviction earlier in the week, the Occupy Wellington group today announced the launch of an ongoing Community Education Initiative, kicking off with a two-day series of open lectures on problems and solutions for economic and environmental issues this weekend.According to the group’s website, this initiative is the first step towards an ongoing community-based platform for freely accessible tertiary educational opportunities. This weekend’s ‘Occupy Your Mind’ lectures will be given by a University-based academics, community experts, professionals, and environmental advocates.Topics covered in the public lecture series include economic issues such as the proposed ‘Robin Hood Tax’, the contentious Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and the global financial crisis, as well as environmental issues such as offshore drilling, causes and consequences of the Rena oil spill, and ethical food production and consumption.

Speakers include Dr Peter Thompson (Senior Lecturer, School of English Film Theatre and Media Studies, Victoria University) discussing the role of media in the global financial crisis, and Sarah Meads (Senior Policy Advisor, Oxfam NZ), speaking about the relationship between social justice, food, and climate change.

Saturday will also feature participatory discussion groups, including a Safer Spaces workshop at 3pm, facilitated by Ian Anderson, Emily Haskell, and Andren Sath. Lectures and workshops will be followed by performances by local musicians, including Seth Frightening on Saturday and the Newtown Rocksteady on Sunday.

Despite eviction rumours, broadening community support for the Occupy camp has showed no signs of slowing down.

“The groundswell of support shown by academics and other experts in the community for the Occupy movement in Wellington has been overwhelming.” says Ben, a supporter of Occupy Wellington. “I’ve received numerous messages of hope that this community education program can be an ongoing thing” Ben says.

It is understood that the Wellington City Council and the Police have not made any moves to evict the group from Civic Square, and that arrangements have been made between Occupy Wellington and children’s organisation Capital E to ensure that Occupy activities do not interfere with the annual ‘Big Halloween’ children’s event on Monday.

Free educational events will continue next week at the Occupy site, with volunteers at the Community Law Centre presenting a public workshop on legal topics relevant to the Occupy movement on Monday evening.

“I’m really looking forward to running our workshop at the Occupy camp next week” says Kate Scarlet (LLB), a Community Advocate at the Wellington Community Law Centre.

“We’re happy for every opportunity to provide legal education to the community” says Kate.

For more information and high quality photographs, please contact:

Occupy Wellington Communications Committee
Telephone: 0223150958
Email: occupy.wellington@gmail.com

Full schedule for ‘Occupy Your Mind’ event:

Saturday 29th October
11am: Michael Williams (Worker’s Rights Campaigner): Rena – Causes and Consequences.
12pm: Mike Smith (Environmental advocate): Economics, Oil and the Environment.
1pm: Grant Brookes (Tax Justice spokesperson): Introducing the Robin Hood Tax.
2pm: Bill Rosenberg (CTU Policy Director): The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and its Likely Effects.
2.45pm: Dr Peter Thompson (Senior Lecturer, School of English Film Theatre and Media Studies): Media and the Global Financial Crisis.
3.30pm: Sarah Meads (Senior Policy Advisor, Oxfam NZ): Food Justice – Social Justice, Food and Climate.
4.30pm: Seth Frightening and Special Guests

Sunday 30th October
11am: Dr Andrew McGregor (Senior Lecturer, School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences): Ethical Food Choices.
12pm: Mary Bryne (Fluoride Action Network NZ:) Hazardous Waste in the Water.
1pm: Jimmy Green (Generation Zero): Youth and Climate Change.
2pm: Miles Thompson: Understanding Money in the Social Network.
3pm: Newtown Rocksteady Unplugged with Special Guests Sam Manzanza and Matiu Te Huki.

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All Blacks Parade and Children’s Halloween Event Welcomed by Wellington Occupiers

Wednesday, 26 October 2011, 6:44pm
Despite rumours of a possible eviction yesterday, Occupy Wellington supporters came out in droves to watch the All Blacks parade in Civic Square this afternoon.Signs reading “Occupy Wellington Welcomes the ABs” and “The Official Equality Fanzone” were seen among the crowds, with Occupy supporters providing face painting to other members of the public attending the parade.A free tea, coffee and orange juice station was set up by the group, providing a welcome sight for fans buffeted by strong winds and rain.Occupy Wellington supporter and rugby fan Richard was overwhelmed by the positive response from the public, describing the event as a “huge success”.It was reported yesterday that the occupiers, who have been camped in Civic Square for twelve days as part of the global Occupy movement, would be asked to leave for the parade. This report was quickly updated as supporters of the Occupy group worked closely with senior Council staff to ensure that the camp did not get in the way of the post-RWC festivities.

“I’m very impressed that the Council has been so forthcoming in working with us to ensure that both the Occupy group and the parade could peacefully co-exist in Civic Square” says Isabelle, a supporter of the Occupy movement. “I was more than happy to pitch in and help clean up the ticker tape after the parade”.

Early reports today suggested that the Occupy group may be asked to leave by October 31st because children’s organisation Capital E had booked some of the area for their annual Big Halloween event. However, Capital E’s events organisers and the Occupy group have since been in close contact to ensure that both events can go ahead as planned.

“The team at Capital E have been fantastic, working with us to find the best solution for everybody” says Isabelle.

“We had a great time with the kids down here on Labour Day, and look forward to them again on Halloween. Working to make the world better for future generations is a big part of why I’m here.”

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Wellington Occupiers Welcome the All Blacks

Tuesday, 25 October 2011, 7:09 pm
The Occupy Wellington movement looks forward to welcoming the All Blacks Parade in Civic Square tomorrow, according to the group’s website.
Spurred on by the public support shown by around three hundred people at the group’s Labour Day event yesterday, the group have announced that they will be providing face-painting, refreshments, food, and a hospitable atmosphere for All Blacks fans present at Wednesday’s post-RWC celebration.
“After the overwhelmingly positive response we got from RWC fans passing through Civic Square on Sunday night, I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s celebration.” says Richard, a supporter of the Wellington Occupy movement.
“Lots of the Occupy supporters are avid rugby fans, so I was really glad to be able to paint faces and offer a relaxing place for people to hang out as they went to and from the game. I’m looking forward to more of the same tomorrow.” Richard says.
The Civic Square camp has continued to grow over the last several days, now containing around 60 tents.
“We’re working very closely with the Wellington City Council and the Police to ensure that we’re not interfering with the public enjoyment of the area. We’d like to offer as much hospitality as possible, and I’m going to help out with the cleanup before and after the parade.” says Ben, another supporter of the Wellington group.
The Occupy Wellington Labour Day event attracted more than 250 people, featuring a range of workshops, academic presentations, children’s activities, musical performances, and free food.
Around midday, several hundred supporters participated in a Special Assembly to democratically decide on details of the afternoon’s event. The group employed the “human microphone” technique developed in the Occupy Wall St movement, allowing mass communication without electronic amplification.
Consensus was quickly established when a small child stood up and proposed that there should be a parade, resulting in 150 Occupy movement supporters parading down Cuba Mall handing out cupcakes and copies of the first issue of the group’s newsletter, the “Occupied Dominion Post”.

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Occupy Aotearoa Movement To Host Labour Day Events

Sunday, 23 October 2011, 12:04 pm
Academics, community leaders and other supporters of the global Occupy movement will come together on Labour Day at events nationwide.
In Wellington, an event will be held in Civic Square from 10am. Public workshops and presentations will focus on positive solutions to global economic, social and environmental issues.
The occupied area of Civic Square is an inclusive, whānau friendly, drug and alcohol free space according to an official statement from the camp.
Occupy Wellington supporter Isabelle described the event as “an opportunity to promote discussion about economic and social inequality.”
Speakers include Dr Todd Bridgman, a senior lecturer in Organisational Behaviour at Victoria University. Dr Bridgman will lead a discussion about the role of universities in the global financial crisis.
The smokefree will also feature activities for children and performances by prominent local musicians.
Support for the Wellington Occupation has grown every day since it began last Saturday, with over 50 tents now occupying Civic Square. The camp is reported to be highly organised, with a kitchen, library, information and communications centre, and first aid station.
The global Occupy movement, which began in Wall St last month, has mobilised well in excess of one million people in more than 1,600 cities around the world in the past week.
LABOUR DAY EVENTS AROUND THE COUNTRY:
• Wellington: Workshops and discussions held in Civic Square from 10am, music from 1pm.
• Christchurch: Demonstration from 11am at South Hagley Park, followed by march around the Red Zone.
• Dunedin: Public picnic in the Octagon.
• Invercargill: Music event at the Gala St reserve. 

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Occupy Wellington Camp Attracts Prominent Guests

Friday, 21 October 2011, 5:00 pm
The Occupy Wellington camp, part of the global Occupy Together movement against economic and social inequality, has received support from several prominent unexpected visitors in the last three days while camping out in Civic Square.
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown visited the camp of around 50 people on Monday, expressing her approval for the Occupy movement and leaving a contact card in case the camp faced any trouble from the Council.
The group has been in close contact with the Wellington City Council to ensure that their activities do not interfere with passersby or WCC activities, and to provide a family friendly space.
“The Council has been right on board with helping us make the Occupy camp a positive experience that gets a worthwhile message out without impinging on the public” says Benjamin, a volunteer who supports the Occupy movement. “And we really appreciate that the Police have been nothing but friendly”.
Peter Dunne visited the Civic Square occupation yesterday morning, voicing his agreement with the overarching message of the Occupy movement.
“The disparity of wealth and opportunity is greater now than it has been for many years. The question is how to resolve these issues” said Dunne.
MP Catherine Delahunty expressed similarly positive sentiment when she visited the camp later in the afternoon.
Other visitors include Don Richards, independent candidate for Ohariu, who has visited the site on several occasions to express his support.
Both MPs were greeted politely, and welcomed to share their views with the group.
Joel, another volunteer supporting the movement, says “Consensus was reached in the Occupy Wellington group early on to avoid aligning with any specific political party or organisation. But we welcome MPs, public figures, and anyone else to come down to Civic Square as individuals and discuss their perspectives with us.”
“I think that on a personal level most politicians want the same things that I do; a sustainable planet for our future generations, a fairer system with less inequality and more democratic decision-making. It’s just a shame that the constraints of their party politics and the influence of corporations and other institutions so often get in the way of these things being put into practice. This is something I’d like to see change.” Joel says.

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